The contest of law with sexual crime is one of the most unequal imaginable. In the first place, a large proportion of such delinquencies are wholly unprovided for in our statute-books; and, secondly, those which are covered by the common law are so secret in their nature, and perpetration, as to practically preclude the possibility of proof. The social scandal, also, which the trial of such cases necessarily involves, the newspaper publicity incident thereto, and the well recognized tendency of vicious contagion to spread in a community from the latter cause alone, all act as deterrents to public prosecution, and as sources of immunity to the offender. Indeed, the disgusting details common to such inquisitions are so distasteful to a high-minded judiciary as to not infrequently prompt the peremptory, and sometimes not altogether just, disposition, on "general principles," of eases possibly involving grave pathological conditions, rather than that public decency should be offended by details which are usually both shockingly unmoral and esthetically loathsome.
Only the medical expert in such contingencies is apt to occupy the rightful position; recognizing the relation between such abnormal manifestations and the physical and mental maladies (neuroses and psychoses) which are largely the product of our present social conditions; and in which, for reasons already sufficiently dwelt upon, the sexual instinct seems to be preeminently involved.